Eritrea: You made an error over Somalia -Eritrea tells Uganda

•April 5, 2007 • Leave a Comment

During a face-to-face meeting at Massawa port on Tuesday , the Eritrean government Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki told his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni he was making an error over sending peace keepers to Somalia.Eritrea urged Uganda to pull out of Somalia after taking the “hasty step” of sending peace-keepers to the anarchic nation where the situation was deteriorating “President Isaias went on to say that Uganda needs to take corrective measures regarding the hasty step it took in sending troops to Somalia,” a statement on the Eritrean government website said.

According to the statement, Eritrean and Ugandan leaders agreed during the meeting that the situation in Somalia was “escalating from bad to worse” and external forces in Somalia were “complicating the issue.”Discussions also focused on “the need to let the Somali people decide their own affairs” and “the withdrawal of foreign forces from Somali territory, as well as (how to) uphold Somalia’s unity and territorial integrity,” according to the Eritrean Information ministry.-(New Vision)


Somalia: Most dangerous country for minority groups-rights body

•March 21, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Somalia has overtaken Iraq as the world’s most dangerous country for minority groups, a study has found. “A new government in Somalia has raised hopes for democracy, but it is also a uniquely dangerous time,” said MRG’s director Mark Lattimer. “There is the spectre of a return of large-scale clan violence – and groups that supported the old order are now under tremendous threat.” He added.

Sudan, Afghanistan and Burma followed in the global survey by the Minority Rights Group International (MRG). It alleges the US ignored abuses of minorities in countries supporting the US “war on terror” including Pakistan, Turkey and Israel. “US allies have managed to barter their support for the war on terror in return for having their human rights records ignored,” said Mr. Lattimer.

Sudan is the third worst offender, said the State of the World’s Minorities report, because of the violence in Darfur. Minority groups in Iraq including Christians, Yezidis and Mandaeans face targeted killings, abductions and torture. The group’s study links tensions in Turkey surrounding the EU accession process to a surge in religious and nationalist extremism behind attacks on minorities – such as the murder of Turkish-Armenian writer Hrant Dink at the end of 2006.The MRG also blames the “war on terror” for a rise in anti-Muslim attacks and intimidation within the European Union affecting millions of ethnic Arabs, South Asians and other Muslim minorities. –BBC

Eritrea creates a second Somalia government in Eritrea

•March 20, 2007 • Leave a Comment

March 18, 2007

Going along with its promisingly successful East African destruction Foreign Policy, the Eritrean government has created, harbored & armed yet another non-Eritrean institution in its capital – Asmara. As expected and as feared by many regional analysts, a fresh political faction was formed by the Asmara government once again, adding to the several Ethiopian, Somali, Sudanese and other nations’ political groups that the Eritrean government has already financed, formed or armed in attempt to destabilize the entire region.

On March 15, the Somalia government in Somalia condemned the formation of a second “Somalia government” residing in Eritrea and asked the Somalis in Eritrea to stop this ludicrous action & return back to their country. Naming 42 Somali high ranking pro-Islamists in Eritrea, the Somalia national lawmakers and legislators condemned the dissidents & described the legal measures to be taken against them. According to various analysts and reports, this technique by the Eritrean government continues to create instability and a potential for chaos all around East Africa. Currently, the Eritrean government has duplicated, created or financed various politician groups and militants against Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia. As United States Ambassador Vicky Huddleston said, “Eritrea’s hope to destabilize Ethiopia by using Somalia’s conflict failed” last year, but Eritrea’s recent defeat in
Southern Somalia will not stop the Eritrean government from continuing another East African destruction project.

 In a flagrant violation of Somalia territorial integrity and without the permission of the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (S.T.F.G), the Eritrean government armed the ICU rebels and trained other militants in Mogadishu to attack the Somalia government & Ethiopia – but fortunately it failed. It was the second direct attack against Ethiopia since the Eritrean government airbombed an Ethiopian school full of children nine years ago. Other Eritrean provocations like the Eritrean government’s war against Yemen and conflicts against Sudan have validated America’s condemnation of Eritrea as well as Eritrea government arming Sudanese insurgents, Tahaluf militants, SLF & NDA rebels against Sudan have harmed the Sudanese government’s capabilities & stirred the Darfar issue even more. Also It wasn’t that long ago when the Eritrean government absurdly wrecked the Sudanese embassy in Eritrea and after kicking out the Sudanese staff, Eritrea comically replaced the embassy building with anti-Sudan rebels and militants. Not a lot of national governments in the history of our world have carried such an outrageous act. In fact, the way the Eritrean government works and what it has done so far, it makes Hezbollah look like an angel.

And if we look at the recent kidnapping of European & Ethiopian civilians and the way the Eritrean government exploits the Afar land issue, who knows, maybe Hezbollah can be the student the next time around and take a few lessons from the Eritrean government.Just against Ethiopia; in a far outcry from Eritrea’s EDA that enjoys zero military & financial Ethiopian support, currently there are MORE than 13 major groups that are heavily armed, trained and financed by the Eritrean government to attack Ethiopia from every direction of East Africa, including from southern Somalia.

These Eritrean financed, trained & armed groups against Ethiopia include:

Islamic Courts Union (ICU)-Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)-Tigray People’s Democratic Movement (TDPM)-Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)-Southern Ethiopia Peoples’ Front for “Justice & Equality”-Gambella People’s Liberation Force (GPLF)-Ethiopian Patriotic Army-Somali People’s Insurgent Movement (SPIM)-Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI)– Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD)-Ethiopian National Unity Front (ENUF) -Kinijit International Leadership (KIL/CUD)-Sidama Liberation Front (SLF)-Ethiopia People’s Patriotic Front (EPPF)….

by: Gemeda Humnasa

Ethiopia, Somalia discuss trade and security

•March 20, 2007 • Leave a Comment

March 15, 2007 (MOGADISHU) — Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin has said that Ethiopia wants to further strengthen relations with Somalia. An Ethiopian delegation led by the foreign minister made a two-day working visit in Mogadishu to discuss trade and security relations.During talks with Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf, Seyoum said that Ethiopia wants to work hand in hand with Somalia to further strengthen the existing trade and security relations.

He said the former rulers tried to separate the two countries, who share a common culture, language and religion. However, the current situation is so conducive than ever before for the people of the two countries to work hand in hand.The president of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia said that after the removal of the extremist group from Mogadishu, peace and stability in the capital has improved very much. He said the government is ready to hold a reconciliation conference to secure the prevailing peace and stability.

President Yusuf said the majority of Mogadishu residents are peace loving people and are also ready to play their part in the efforts under way to rebuild the nation. He said concerted efforts are under way to combat the few attacks carried out in the capital by remnants of the extremist group. He called for the support of the international community in the efforts under way to rebuild the country.

The Ethiopian delegation, headed by Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin, arrived in Mogadishu yesterday for a two-day working visit. On arrival at Mogadishu Airport, Seyoum was welcomed by senior government officials.

2 Killed in Mortar Attack in Somalia

•March 20, 2007 • Leave a Comment

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Insurgents struck the Somali capital’s seaport and former intelligence quarters on Sunday, killing two people and injuring at least 16 who were caught in fighting that drew in Ethiopian and government troops, witnesses said.

Mortar attacks were launched against four separate areas in the capital, where attacks against the transitional government are growing more sophisticated and deadly.One person was killed and at least three people were wounded when a mortar round hit a restaurant near the seaport where locals were having lunch, employees and diners at the restaurant said.“They were shouting and crying,” said Ali Madey Abdalla, who was at the restaurant. “They were in shock.”

Ten of the injured were taken to Mogadishu’s Keysaney hospital as was one of the dead, Dr. Mohamed Mo’lin said. All were civilians, medics said.Six people hit by shrapnel were taken to the Medina hospital in the capital, said Amina Mahamed, a nurse there.The attack came as 18 members of a U.N. delegation arrived in the government stronghold of Baidoa, 155 miles to the southwest of Mogadishu.The group held talks with Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi about the possibility of sending U.N. peacekeepers, who would replace an African Union peacekeeping mission when its mandate ends in six months, the country’s foreign minister Ismail Hurre told the Associated Press.Last year, Somalia’s transitional government and Ethiopian troops routed a radical Islamic movement, but insurgents thought to be linked to the group continue to stage attacks.Meanwhile, a Somali police chief leading a crackdown on insurgents was killed by his bodyguard, witnesses said Sunday.

Col. Abdi Abdulle was appointed earlier this year as police chief of Kismayo, one of the Islamic movement’s last strongholds before its fighters were defeated.Abdulle died of his wounds after being shot in the leg Saturday night, resident Abdullahi Ahmed Kulmiye said by telephone. The bodyguard, who has not yet been identified, fled with several armed gunmen in a waiting Toyota pickup, Kulmiye said. Somaliahas been mired in anarchy since 1991, when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on one another.


Somali sovereignty

•March 7, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The Islamic Courts Union has vowed to drive out Ethiopian troops that are providing military support to Somalia’s UN-backed government.  Ibrahim Hassan Adow, the group’s foreign affairs chief, said the courts will not negotiate with the government because the administration is the “puppet of another foreign country”. He also denounced the US, saying Washington should be calling on Ethiopia to withdraw its troops. Ali Mohamed Gedi, the Somali prime minister, has vowed that his government will “defend the people it is responsible for and Somali sovereignty” and said the Islamic Courts fighters should return to negotiations.  Several rounds of talks, mediated by the Arab League, have failed to produce any lasting effect. “They will be responsible for any consequences that may result from rejecting our call,” Gedi said. 

Somalia-Ethiopia, Kenya Conflict

•March 7, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Despite the difficulties encountered in integrating north and south, the most important political issue in postindependence Somali politics was the unification of all areas populated by Somalis into one country–a concept identified as pan-Somalism, or Greater Somalia. Politicians assumed that this issue dominated popular opinion and that any government would fall if it did not demonstrate a militant attitude toward neighboring countries occupying Somali territory.Preoccupation with Greater Somalia shaped the character of the country’s newly formed institutions and led to the build-up of the Somali military and ultimately to the war with Ethiopia and fighting in the NFD in Kenya.

By law the exact size of the National Assembly was not established in order to facilitate the inclusion of representatives of the contested areas after unification. The national flag featured a five-pointed star whose points represented those areas claimed as part of the Somali nation–the former Italian and British territories, the Ogaden, Djibouti, and the NFD. Moreover, the preamble to the constitution approved in 1961 included the statement, “The Somali Republic promotes by legal and peaceful means, the union of the territories.” The constitution also provided that all ethnic Somalis, no matter where they resided, were citizens of the republic. The Somalis did not claim sovereignty over adjacent territories, but rather demanded that Somalis living in them be granted the right to self-determination. Somali leaders asserted that they would be satisfied only when their fellow Somalis outside the republic had the opportunity to decide for themselves what their status would be.At the 1961 London talks on the future of Kenya, Somali representatives from the NFD demanded that Britain arrange for the NFD’s separation before Kenya was granted independence.

The British government appointed a commission to ascertain popular opinion in the NFD on the question. Its investigation indicated that separation from Kenya was almost unanimously supported by the Somalis and their fellow nomadic pastoralists, the Oromo. These two peoples, it was noted, represented a majority of the NFD’s population.Despite Somali diplomatic activity, the colonial government in Kenya did not act on the commission’s findings. British officials believed that the federal format then proposed in the Kenyan constitution would provide a solution through the degree of autonomy it allowed the predominantly Somali region within the federal system. This solution did not diminish Somali demands for unification, however, and the modicum of federalism disappeared after Kenya’s government opted for a centralized constitution in 1964.The denial of Somali claims led to growing hostility between the Kenyan government and Somalis in the NFD. Adapting easily to life as shiftas, or bandits, the Somalis conducted a guerrilla campaign against the police and army for more than four years between 1960 and 1964. The Somali government officially denied Kenya’s charges that the guerrillas were trained in Somalia, equipped there with Soviet arms, and directed from Mogadishu. But it could not deny that the Voice of Somalia radio influenced the level of guerrilla activity by means of its broadcasts beamed into Kenya.Somalia refused to acknowledge in particular the validity of the Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty of 1954 recognizing Ethiopia’s claim to the Haud or, in general, the relevance of treaties defining Somali-Ethiopian borders.

Somalia’s position was based on three points: first, that the treaties disregarded agreements made with the clans that had put them under British protection; second, that the Somalis were not consulted on the terms of the treaties and in fact had not been informed of their existence; and third, that such treaties violated the self-determination principle.Incidents began to occur in the Haud within six months after Somali independence.

At first the incidents were confined to minor clashes between Ethiopian police and armed parties of Somali nomads, usually resulting from traditional provocations such as smuggling, livestock rustling, and tax collecting, rather than irredentist agitation. Their actual causes aside, these incidents tended to be viewed in Somalia as expressions of Somali nationalism. Hostilities grew steadily, eventually involving small-scale actions between Somali and Ethiopian armed forces along the border. In February 1964, armed conflict erupted along the Somali-Ethiopian frontier, and Ethiopian aircraft raided targets in Somalia. Hostilities ended in April through the mediation of Sudan, acting under the auspices of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Under the terms of the cease-fire, a joint commission was established to examine the causes of frontier incidents, and a demilitarized zone ten to fifteen kilometers wide was established on either side of the border. At least temporarily, further military confrontations were prevented.Ethiopia and Kenya concluded a mutual defense pact in 1964 in response to what both countries perceived as a continuing threat from Somalia. This pact was renewed in 1980 and again on August 28, 1987, calling for the coordination of the armed forces of both states in the event of an attack by Somalia. Most OAU members were alienated by Somali irredentism and feared that if Somalia were successful in detaching the Somali-populated portions of Kenya and Ethiopia, the example might inspire their own restive minorities divided by frontiers imposed during the colonial period. In addition, in making its irredentist claims, the Somalis had challenged two of Africa’s leading elder statesmen, President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya and Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.